JACK MUNRO WAS Man of the Match, with a commanding 51 and some fine bowling. All the more admirable for his palpable lack of match fitness.
That the game was played at all was due to Sarah Jenkins’ dogged work on the telephone to get a quorum. In the event we played nine a side, with subs in the field (we gave them Adam, a sort of Trojan Horse). The V&A batted first. Openers Jack and Adam Jacot de Boinod (proper, respectful title) scored at 7 an over and reached 80 odd before Monsieur Jacot de Boinod was out, merde alors. The run rate was admirable because their opening bowler, young Jamie Cobb (son of the combative Patrick) bowled serious stuff. Others were not so fearsome and Rob Noble, their captain, was rather expensive, his two overs were perhaps two too many. It was nostalgic seeing Richard Cowley behind the stumps, with his unending smutty chatter, slyly designed to discombobulate the batsman.
We all got a bat, Peter Linthwaite and Martin Bowden scoring quickly, until the revised over limit of 30 was reached for a total of 209. This proved too much for The Catchiteers, despite scoring at the required rate for 15 overs. Adam got the crucial wicket of their best batsman, Will Clarke (match supremo) bowled beautifully, and Martin got prodigious swing. Although The Catchiteers swashed and buckled they fell behind the rate dramatically and in the end needed 17 an over from the last 4 overs or so. Richard Cowley and Jamie Cobb stroked the ball vigorously but when Richard was out the sight of Patrick Cobb walking in was reassuring. His Old Harrovian sweater, MCC hat, Free Foresters belt, sound forward prod and girth are reminders of cricket past, the more leisurely era of Grace and Lord Harris. His elegant style is perhaps unsuited to the vulgar run chase. And so it proved.
Sarah’s tea was excellent and the traditional crustless cucumber sandwiches were served with the Typhoo. The sun shone and by 7.15 your correspondent was enjoying the first of several whiskies. In The Rainbow afterwards a horse-and-cart load of drunks turned up, upsetting Curly the publican (you might have thought he’d be used to 22 drunken oafs turning up, it happens most Saturdays). Your correspondent was embraced by Jean, Curly’s missus, and today (Sunday) is in bed with a bad back.